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YALSA Hub Challenge: If You Liked Trinity…

We have had our discussion of the graphic history of the atomic bomb, Trinity, and now we’re suggesting more for your nonfiction graphic novel junkies.

Curious about science, politics, history, and genius? Check out these titles.

Anne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography

by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón

Why? For those who enjoyed the style of storytelling in Trinity, the Anne Frank biography is set during the same time period but tells an entirely different story, one that perhaps will help the reader understand the race to build the atomic bomb. -Esther

  • Anne Frank 2010 160 pp. 9780809026852

Atomic Robo

by Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener

Why? This is the silliest choice on this list, but while this tale of a robot invented by Nikola Tesla in the 1920s is action-packed and full of banter, government conspiracies, and alternate history, it is also very serious about its science. When Carl Sagan jokes abound, you know you’re in with the science geeks, and the serious moments in the series tackle some of the same questions about war, technology, weaponry, and just use of force that Trinity covers in our actual history. -Robin

  • Atomic Robo Volume 1: Atomic Robo & the Fightin Scientists of Tesladyne. 2009. 180 pp. 9780980930207
  • Atomic Robo Volume 2: Atomic Robo and the Dogs of War. 2009. 160 pp. 9780980930221
  • Atomic Robo Volume 3: Atomic Robo and the Shadow from Beyond Time. 2010. 152 pp. 9780980930252
  • Atomic Robo Volume 4: Other Strangeness. 2010. 140 pp. 9780980930283
  • Atomic Robo Volume 5: Deadly Art of Science. 2011. 152 pp. 9780980930245
  • Atomic Robo Volume 6: Ghost of Station X. 2012. 152 pp. 9780986898501
  • Atomic Robo Volume 7: Flying She-Devils of the Pacific.  2013. 152 pp. 9780986898525

Barefoot Gen: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima

by Keiji Nakazawa

Why?  After reading how the bomb was built, it’s only natural to consider what the effect was on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This poignant and powerful retelling will have readers questioning if it was worth dropping the bomb. – Esther

  • Volume 1 September 2004 288 pp. 9780867196023
  • Volume 2 9780867196191
  • Volume 3 9780867195941
  • Volume 4 9780867195958
  • Volume 5 9780867195965
  • Volume 6 9780867195972
  • Volume 7 9780867195989
  • Volume 8 9780867195996

Clan Apis

by Jay Hosler

Why? Happily due out in a new edition, Jay Hosler’s biography of a honey bee is still one of the best science-interest titles to deal out humor, pathos, and biology in equal measure. While not quite nonfiction, the tale is jam-packed with information about the life of a typical honey bee, and the explanations of hive life are cleverly and engagingly presented. -Robin

  • Clan Apis. 2013. 160 pp. 9781482347456

Dignifying Science: Stories About Women Scientists

by Jim Ottaviani and various artists

Why? You’ll notice a lot of Ottaviani-authored titles on this list because he has been writing strong science graphic novels for years. This collection of short vignettes highlights the women, both famous and obscure, who have made remarkable contributions to science. More of an introduction to these ladies than an in depth portrait, this title will nonetheless inspire students to find out more from further research. -Robin

  • Dignifying Science. 2009. 144 pp. 9780978803735.


by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick

Why? This biography, which covers Feynman’s entire career but highlights his time working on the bomb at Los Alamos as a young man, features explanations of intricate ideas that succeed as well as Trinity‘s in clarifying complex scientific ideas. This biography is full of Feynman’s trademark curiosity and prankster attitude, which makes his energetic exploration of physics that much more engaging. -Robin

  • Feynman 2011. 272 pp. 9781596432598.

The Influencing Machine

by Brooke Gladstone and Josh Neufeld

Why? For readers curious about forces that shape politics, history, and our perception of both, Brooke Gladstone’s investigation into the power of the press is illuminating. She raises thought-provoking questions about media and encourages readers to question the accepted story. -Robin

  • The Influencing Machine. 2012. 192 pp. 9780393342468.

The Inventor: The Story of Tesla

by Ravé Mehta

Why? This title’s creator is as much a fan of Tesla as a biographer, but the essence of the inventor—brilliant, driven, obsessive, and terrible at the politics surrounding his own inventions—is captured in this brief recounting. This is the kind of title that encourages further exploration of the man, his potential, and the way politics and society undoubtedly affect innovation. -Robin

  • The Inventor: The Story of Tesla. 2012. 152 pp. 9781771350150.


by Nick Abadzis

Why? This beautiful (and ultimately heart-wrenching) look at the first dog in space explores the Cold War environment that prompted—and rushed—the space race through the point of view of Laika herself. Abadzis does a fine job balancing the smaller story of Laika and her trainers with the global competition and blinding determination that led to her historic orbit. -Robin

  • Laika. 2007. 208 pp. 978-1596431010.

Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth

by Apostolos Doxiadis, Christos H. Papadimitriou, Alecos Papadatos, and Annie Di Donna

Why? Logicomix addresses philosophy, not science, but the mix of true to life personalities, deftly explained concepts, and an undeniable enthusiasm for the topic makes this another winner for graphic novel fans looking to stretch their minds. -Robin

  • Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth. 2009. 352 pp. 9781596914520.

The Photographer: Into War-torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders

by Didier Lefèvre and Emmanuel Guibert

Why? This outstanding title, combining Lefevre’s photographs with a considered look at the men and women who work with Doctors Without Borders, examines the conflicts in Afghanistan in the 1980s that have undoubtedly contributed to today’s global landscape. As with Trinity, The Photographer gives a human face to a wider conflict. -Robin

  • The Photographer. 2009. 288 pp. 9781596433755.

Suspended in Language: Niels Bohr’s Life, Discoveries, And The Century He Shaped

by Jim Ottaviani and various artists

Why? This in-depth biography of Bohr, himself a refugee from Nazi-controlled Europe during World War II and a key figure in researching the atomic bomb, is a solid portrait of a remarkable mind. The science here may be a bit dense for laymen, but Bohr’s influence on modern science is clear. -Robin

  • Suspended in Language. 2009. 320 pp. 9780978803728.
Robin Brenner About Robin Brenner

Robin Brenner is Teen Librarian at the Brookline Public Library in Massachusetts. When not tackling programs and reading advice at work, she writes features and reviews for publications including VOYA, Early Word, Library Journal, and Knowledge Quest. She has served on various awards committees, from the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards to the Boston Globe Horn Book Awards. She is the editor-in-chief of the graphic novel review website No Flying No Tights.

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